×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Online Classes to Take If You Want to Make It in the Movie Business

Spike Lee, Aaron Sorkin, Martin Scorsese, and Judd Apatow are among the industry vets who have signed on to teach writing, acting, and filmmaking courses through MasterClass, an emerging online learning platform that’s making it easy for aspiring actors and directors to perfect their craft.

Lee and Apatow are the latest instructors to join MasterClass this year, along with filmmaker and producer Ken Burns and “The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood. Lee, whose “BlacKkKlansman” was released to rave reviews this summer, teaches a class on filmmaking, diving into the process of writing stories, developing camera angles, and even how to finance a film. Apatow, meantime, leads a comedy class, sharing tips for writing a great stand-up routine, and how to create storylines for comedic television and film productions.

MasterClass joins a number of other sites out there that offer online courses for a nominal fee. LinkedIn recently unveiled their “LinkedIn Learning” platform, which focuses on courses for career advancement, while Udemy has been in the marketplace since 2010, and now offers more than 80,000 course options, ranging from upgrading your technical skills, to courses on personal growth and development. All of the sites allow students to stream video tutorials, download course materials, and take part in interactive exercises, with many also offering the ability to connect with peers and instructors. The hook: an ability for students to learn at their own pace, and on their own time, from the convenience of home.

Unlike traditional continuing education classes, which require in-person attendance and tuition fees, MasterClass courses are available as part of an annual subscription for $180 (for access to all the classes on the site), or for individual purchase at $90 per class. The fee gets you lifetime access to the course videos and materials, so you can reference the lesson plans and tips at any time.

MasterClass courses focus on film and television, cooking, photography, sports, writing, and science. “Scandal” showrunner Shonda Rhimes teaches a course on writing for television, while students can also sign up for a Scorsese-led course on movie-making, which includes 30 video lessons and “office hours,” where the legendary director will respond to select student questions. The site has also added classes more recently from Chris Hadfield (space exploration), and Daniel Negreanu, whose poker class officially launched last month.

MasterClass says it has a “robust pipeline” of new courses and categories set to launch in the next few months, which will bring its catalog to more than 50 classes, and more than a thousand lessons. It’s been a year of tremendous growth on the financial front as well. MasterClass announced last month that it had raised $80 million in Series D funding, led by current investor IVP, with participation from NEA Ventures, Javelin Ventures, and Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital, as well as new investors Atomico and Evolution Media (a joint fund from CAA and TPG).

To see the full course offerings and celebrity instructors on MasterClass, visit their site at www.masterclass.com.

VarietySPY editorial products are independently selected. If you buy something through our links, PMC may earn an affiliate commission.

More Biz

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    'Leaving Neverland' Lawsuit Proves to Be a Judicial Hot Potato

    The Michael Jackson estate sued HBO last month for airing the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which accuses the late King of Pop of serial child sexual abuse. Since then, the case has had a difficult time finding a judge to handle it. Three federal judges have recused themselves in the last week, citing potential financial conflicts [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Guy Oseary’s New Zealand Fundraiser Nears $150,000, Continues Raising Money

    In the wake of the horrific shootings at New Zealand mosques last week that killed some 49 people, Maverick chief Guy Oseary launched a GoFundMe campaign to “support those affected by this tragedy at this very difficult time,” and began it with an $18,000 donation. Boosted by donations from many celebrities — including Amy Schumer, [...]

  • Cesar Sayoc Headshot

    Florida Man Pleads Guilty in CNN Pipe Bomb Case

    A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump. Cesar Sayoc appeared in federal court in New York, where he pleaded to 65 counts stemming from the mailing of 16 devices. He faces life in prison, plus 120 months, at his sentencing on Sept. 12. [...]

  • Tencent Profits Hit $1 Billion Per

    Tencent Profits Hit $1 Billion per Month as Company Loses Fizz

    Growing regulatory encroachments into its games business, a smaller than expected spin-off for its music division, and a fourth quarter profits drop, pointed to a troubling year for Chinese tech giant Tencent. Its financial results for the full 2018 period, while delivering profits of nearly $1 billion a month, appeared to bear out that thesis. [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    WGA Leaders to Meet With Showrunners on Agency Packaging Fight (EXCLUSIVE)

    WGA leaders are set to meet Wednesday night with a group of showrunners who are raising concerns about the guild’s handling of negotiations with talent agents over the issue of packaging fees and agency-affiliated productions. The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at WGA West headquarters. WGA West president David Goodman is expected to attend. [...]

  • Bill Murray St Vincent 2014

    Weinstein Co. Sued Over Trademark Infringement in Bill Murray Film

    A horse-racing announcer has sued the Weinstein Co., claiming that the company infringed on his trademarked phrase in a 2014 Bill Murray movie. Dave Johnson is the man behind “And down the stretch they come!,” which he began using while calling races in Illinois in the 1960s. The phrase took off when Johnson moved to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content